Sports TV News
Bob Costas Doesn’t Listen To Outside Criticism
“I think if you don’t set the stage and frame it a little bit, then the casual fan isn’t drawn in as much and they don’t understand the dynamics of the series.”
Bob Costas is serving as the play-by-play voice of ALDS between the New York Yankees and Cleveland Guardians for TBS. He has received some criticism for his work from various outlets and sources, but he says he doesn’t listen to it.
The TBS announcer joined The Ken Carman Show with Anthony Lima on 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland Tuesday morning to discuss ALDS, before Lima brought up the criticism Costas has received.
“I see people like Mike Francesa and others that are critical of the way you call the sport,” Lima said after lamenting the lack of hearing Costas regularly over the course of the past few years. “I sucked up to you simply to ask this question: Does that hurt you? When you hear people come after you that way? Someone who has done it at your level for as long as you’ve done it.”
“I’m gonna give you an honest answer: I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to it because of the dynamics that we’ve been talking about. So I understand what it is. There was one comment — in line with what you’re talking about — ‘You don’t have to say these things about the Yankees. Everybody knows this.’ Does that person understand the nature of a national broadcast? Yes, everybody from Sacramento to Bangor, Maine knows who Aaron Judge is this year, but what about other factors within it.
I think if you don’t set the stage and frame it a little bit, then the casual fan isn’t drawn in as much and they don’t understand the dynamics of the series. Once you move along past the first couple of games, then the series takes on its own narrative and you do less of that. But today, for example, there has to be a little of that, because there will be casual fans tuning in — many of them for the first time because people tend to watch a deciding game, casual fans, more often than they would a game earlier in the series — so I understand everything that goes into that.”
Costas continued by saying no one can be more critical of him than he is.
“I’m also very self critical and I understand there are occasions when I don’t quite meet my own standard. I don’t quite accomplish what I set out to do, and I do understand that in possibly Game 1 of this series — because I was so well-prepared — I was trying to frame the series. In Game 1, the balance might have tilted too much to some of that background and history of the season and the history of the two franchises, which are interesting.
“Both have interesting and deep histories. It wasn’t that it was wrong to do or wasn’t done effectively. The proportion of the balance might have been a little bit out of whack. But after that? I think we just called the games the way we should call the games.”
Costas then mentioned with alternate broadcasts being in vogue, Major League Baseball should work with its network partners to formulate an alternate broadcast with the voices fans are familiar with.
“If the networks can figure out a way to cobble together the ratings — because let’s say if the Yankees play the Astros or the Yankees had played the Dodgers in the World Series, those are two huge markets — as long as they don’t give up the rating, I would think they could create an alternative platform where Cleveland announcers for this series and Yankee announcers for this series could call the game. They wouldn’t be able to have their own production crew. That would be unwieldy.
“But they could put their voices, in real time, over the pictures the network is providing. And as long as the rating locally, which would be drained a little bit in both cities, as long as that could be added to the network’s rating and as long as they played the same commercials so that the network wasn’t hurt in terms of revenue, that would be a reasonable alternative for people to have.
“Then Cleveland would have to, of course, decide if they wanted to put Tom Hamilton on television instead of on radio, and his style is suited greatly towards radio, but I’m sure he could adapt, but the point is why not allow that option to people? And I think a lot of people would sample both. They might go back forth, but at least they would have whatever their preference would be. And if the technology allows for it, I don’t see why baseball couldn’t go ahead and do it.”
Sports TV News
Mike Breen: My Dream Was to Be a DJ at WPLJ
“I enjoyed being on the air and talking. So my initial thought was, ‘I’m going to be a disc jockey.’”
These days, WPLJ in New York City is a Christian station owned by the Educational Media Foundation. When Mike Breen was a kid in Yonkers though, it was one of the most influential rock stations in America and the man who is now known as the voice of the NBA wanted to be on the air there.
On the latest edition of Dan Le Batard’s South Beach Sessions podcast, Breen revealed that he always loved sports. His first introduction to broadcasting though came from a neighbor named Tony Minecola. He was a few years older than Breen and studying to be a radio broadcaster in college.
“He built a radio station in his basement and played disc jockey,” Breen told Le Batard. “’He had commercials, records, you know, everything. Like it was a real radio station, only it only went from one room to the next. That was what he was into, and that’s what he was going to college for. And we used to hang out in the basement all the time. And one day he says, ‘Hey, why don’t you come in? You want to you want to be the DJ for a little bit?’ And I’m like, okay, let me try it.’ And I fell in love with it.”
Mike Breen didn’t just fall in love with the idea of radio. He saw it as a viable career and knew exactly where he wanted it to take him.
“I enjoyed being on the air and talking. So my initial thought was, ‘I’m going to be a disc jockey.’ WPLJ was like the big rock station in New York back at that time, and I thought, ‘I’m going to be a DJ on WPLJ.’ That was my first goal.
Through the 70s and early 80s, WPLJ was an album rock station. Some of its most iconic on air personalities included Carol Miller, Pat St. John, Fr. Bill Ayers, and Mark Goodman, who was eventually one of MTV’s original VJs.
Breen said he loved the rock music of the time, especially Jethro Tull and Bruce Springsteen, but he realized that a broadcasting career could keep him close to sports too.
Obviously, he chose well. That is not to say that he couldn’t have been a great DJ if given the chance, but he went on to be the voice of the New York Knicks and has called more NBA Finals games than anyone else in history.
WPLJ was out of the rock business by 1983 when it became a pop station.
Sports TV News
New Episodes of Beyond Limits Coming to CBS Sports
The series, which first premiered in September 2021, is produced by the CBS Sports Race and Culture Unit, with senior producer Sarah M. Kazadi.
CBS Sports is set to premiere new episodes of its franchise Beyond Limits, which celebrates athletes who go beyond the implicit boundaries of sports and society. Three half-hour episodes will be hosted by CBS Sports reporter AJ Ross, and will also air on CBS’ linear channel and stream live on Paramount+.
The first episode of the season is titled “Who I Am,” and it will feature Byron Perkins, who is the first openly gay football player at a historically black college or university (HBCU). Perkins is a redshirt senior at Hampton University. The show will also discuss the relationship he has with his mother and how she has impacted him both as a person and an athlete.
Two more episodes will premiere throughout the season – one on making sports adaptable and accessible; and the other featuring athletes who have moved into executive roles. The latter show includes interviews with NBA Executive Vice President and Head of Basketball Operations, Joe Dumars; New Orleans Pelicans Vice President of Basketball Operations and Team Development, Swin Cash; and NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations, Troy Vincent.
The series, which first premiered in September 2021, is produced by the CBS Sports Race and Culture Unit, with senior producer Sarah M. Kazadi. Its first episode premieres on Sunday, June 11 at 1:30 p.m. EST/10:30 a.m. PST, and should provide fans with unique storytelling and spotlight into the journeys of various key figures in sports and media alike.
Sports TV News
ESPN Colleagues Pay Tribute to Neil Everett
“It was universal praise from the people that knew and worked with Everett.”
Neil Everett has become one of the faces of SportsCenter. After 23 years at ESPN, he announced that he is leaving the network.
Colleagues at the World Wide Leader took to Twitter to share their thoughts. It was universal praise from the people that knew and worked with Everett. Chief among them was his SportsCenter partner of fourteen years, Stan Verrett.
If Root Sports Northwest requires references, there are plenty ESPN colleagues past and present that were immediately ready to vouch for Neil Everett.
Everett was not laid off. He turned down a new contract that would have forced him to take a pay cut.
The Walt Disney Company is in the middle of layoffs effecting every division. CEO Bob Iger has tasked his leaders with reducing costs by $5.5 billion and cutting 7000 jobs.